The first meeting of Joint Committee under the Viet Nam – European Union (EU) Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation Framework Agreement (PCA) met in Ha Noi on 10 May 2019.The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Viet Nam To Anh Dzung, Head of the Vietnamese Delegation, and the Director for Asia and Pacific in the European External Action Service Gunnar Wiegand, co-chaired the first meeting.
Through the launch of the Joint Committee, overseeing the implementation of the PCA which entered into force on 1 October 2016, Viet Nam and the EU underline their commitment to strengthen the overall relationship through a comprehensive partnership and cooperation between the two sides. This comprehensive partnership will be further implemented through the Joint Committee and its different Subcommittees that have now been established.
The Joint Committee reviewed developments in Viet Nam and in the EU, as well as overall Viet Nam - EU relations. The two sides welcome the growth of the Viet Nam – EU relations over the last three decades and stressed the common desire to cultivate and deepen all areas of comprehensive partnership and cooperation between the two sides. Both sides reviewed regional and international developments, including in the field of sustainable development. They also discussed further cooperation in security and defence on issues of mutual interest. Both sides also discussed proposals for cooperation in the field of human rights.
In the area of trade and investment, both sides looked forward to the signature of the Viet Nam - EU Free Trade Agreement and the Investment Protection Agreement in the weeks ahead. These agreements reaffirm the two sides'commitment to trade liberalization, shall contribute to the economic and social development of both sides through increased market access and shall also bring about a wave of high-quality investment from both sides. They also discussed the topics in the field of Trade and Sustainable Development, including taking the necessary steps towards the ratification, and the effective implementation of fundamental ILO Conventions.
The Joint Committee exchanged on the Viet Nam-EU development cooperation programme 2014-2020 On the energy sector, cooperation is focused on rural electrification, the promotion of energy efficiency and the development of renewable energy, response to climate change and sustainable development. On the governance sector, cooperation is focussed on justice, public finance management and economic issues, human resource development, culture, education, tourism and people-to-people dialogue.
They welcomed the imminent entry into force of the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT)-Voluntary Partnership Agreement, stepping up their joint efforts to eradicate illegal logging and trade in illegal timber products. They also acknowledged Viet Nam’s efforts to reform the legal framework to address the illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing-related issues and committed to pursue the constructive dialogue in support of this process.
The next Joint Committee meeting is expected to take place in Brussels in 2020.